PHOENIX -- Secretary of State Jan Brewer released the following statement in the face of many inquiries over the past week regarding the questionable voter registration efforts of ACORN (the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now) here in Arizona:
“Too often I have seen groups like ACORN who disenfranchise voters and file fraudulent voter registration forms here in Arizona . The truth of the matter is something needs to be done about private organizations like ACORN that attempt to knowingly deceive the election system.
ACORN has been active in Arizona for several years, and just as in other states, this group has turned in fraudulent and untimely voter registration forms. In each instance, these registration forms were referred to the Arizona Attorney General's Office and relevant County Attorney 's offices for further investigation.
In many respects, we are fortunate that such efforts to perpetrate a fraud on Arizona 's election process have been unsuccessful. In part, that's because Arizona 's laws and procedures prevent fraudulent registrations from making it on to our voter rolls. For example, Arizona is the only state that requires proof of citizenship for all new registrants. In addition, our laws require those registering to vote provide an Arizona driver license number or the last four digits of the applicant's Social Security number. This information is then verified against the Motor Vehicle and Social Security databases. No applicant will be registered to vote without having their information verified through this process.
The most unfortunate situation caused by ACORN in Arizona is the filing of untimely registrations. Arizona 's voter registration deadline is set twenty-nine days before the election. Too often I've seen registration forms collected by ACORN and other private registration drives turned in after the deadline, thereby disenfranchising the voter from voting in that election. It is for this reason that I always recommend that those wishing to vote, register directly with the election authorities.
The public needs to be diligent about questioning private organizations like ACORN that are offering to register them to vote. Although it is legal for a private group to register voters in Arizona , these groups have gone unregulated for too long and it is time for this practice to be seriously reformed. Twice, I authored specific legislation to reform the practice of private voter registration drives, but these efforts were met with resistance. I hope the Legislature will seriously consider my proposals to reform and regulate this industry in the next legislative session.
There are many ways for an individual to register to vote, including online at the Secretary of State's website, www.azsos.gov, or by downloading a form from this site and sending it directly to the voter's county recorder.”